The Famous Fifteen

by Hugo Acosta

2004 – 2019… 15 years that could be identified in many occasions with many events, but in my life, and hopefully for the local Latino (or even non-Latino) community of Central New York (or even the entire New York State), these 15 years has been a mixed of growing pains and enjoyable pleasure, in a journey of varies experiences, that have developed and made the CNY Latino newspaper, what it is now, and yours truly (Hugo Acosta) what he is now.

There is a popular traditional milestone in the Latino culture called Quinceañera, that is the colloquial name of when a Hispanic Girl becomes a woman, at the age of 15 years old (see article about Quinceañera in the print publication of the CNY Latino newspaper February 2019 edition). Now, I don’t want to insinuate any gender classification, nor to identify our newspaper as a female entity, but we could say that we are right now going through (and celebrating) a Quinceañera moment, with this 15-year anniversary, and we probably should be doing all the different actions and components this cultural moment brings. Well… we are not going to do anything like that… not for now, but we will try to enjoy the moment, reflect the milestone, and contemplate about our progress (or our failures – if any).

During the last week of each month, I try with Marisol and our small staff, to put together a publication we want (and hope) to be proud in our culture and for our people, and we do our best to do it error-less and presentable, not only to have a good product to represent well and with pride the publishing industry, but also to represent well and with pride the Latino culture. That last week of the month very often give us chaotic times of deadlines and rushing goals, that we have to handle and struggle, with other business errands or life procedures, and even though there has been some delays or setbacks during this 15 year, we are proud to also indicate they have been very few and very minor, to consider them of any significant issues to grieve and regret about it.

In each anniversary year (for the past 14 years) I have been trying with these editorials, not only to express myself as celebration of each commemoration, but also to describe the feeling of both accomplishment and success, for a product that has been very well welcome from its creation, until nowadays; and I hope that now, I can again provide here, my humbling sense of achievement and appreciation of success. It has not been easy, and in many occasions, it has been frustrating, but once problems have been resolved and obstacles have been overcome, the overall experience was fulfilling and that mentioned sense of success was always very gratifying.

I believe that for the last 4 or 5 editorials (4 or 5 years) I have mentioned the gradual but surely changes the newspaper industry has been going through, and the business alterations we are experiencing (and suffering) with respect of a traditional way of delivering a message (and the news). Those changes are still happening, and are still affecting our product, and in a way also affecting how we do business, and how our chances of being profitable (or how our chances of survival) are; but we will adapt to those changes, and will keep providing to our community and our culture… as long as they demand or ask for. I hope I didn’t sound pessimistic nor I seemed to be negative, but life always changes, and technology is affecting the publishing trade to the point that many newspapers and publications are closing and disappearing. Nevertheless, thanks to our culture, we believe CNY Latino will still be around for a while… maybe 5 or 7 more years… maybe less… maybe more, and we will keep our goals to defend and protect our culture, preserve and safeguard our people (in America), and deliver the message and the news, in BOTH “English” AND “Spanish”, in the traditional paper format, in the new digital version, or however the new changes bring us to do.

Of course (as also mentioned in past editorials), all these accomplishments and successes could not be done, without the constant help and patience of my business (and life) partner Marisol Hernandez, the dedication and commitment of our associates, the sporadic help of our Interns, and the indirect support of our friends and family (especially during those hard-difficult moments). You put all this together with the unconditional backing of our Latino (and non-Latino) community, the loyal readership and the dedicated advertisers, and the supportive vendors, we in CNY Latino have been lucky to become what we are now, and celebrate such of a commemorative and memorial anniversary.

So, with all this said… THANK YOU…! Thank you very much..! and we will try our best, to keep and better the making of this newspaper, to keep and better the delivery of the message and the news, and to keep and better protecting and defending our culture and our people.

Go for it!

Go for it! Three ways of being a productive, mindful, and healthy woman
by Aixa G. Lopez

The word mindfulness means the state of mind of being conscious or aware of something. In the past years, we have heard how this word has been used to describe the importance of being in the present moment and not worrying about the past or the future.

At age 32 while I was running from one meeting to another and being late for the second meeting, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I thought it was the result of my hurry. I started feeling chest pain and all of a sudden, I felt dizzy. They took me to the hospital and my blood pressure was almost 200/100. After several days getting physical exams, I ended up getting a catheterization. My doctor instructed me that I had to slow down and live a mindful life. I had read about mindfulness but never paid too much attention to it. My life had always been measured by accomplishing tasks, and that’s all I knew.

We, women, put tremendous pressure on fulfilling all of our roles “perfectly.” I started trying to be present, working smartly, but for some reason, the implementation was not as easy as it seemed in the books.

There are days in which I still feel overwhelmed, but that’s when I know I have to stop and take some time off for myself to recalibrate. Some techniques I’ve used to manage my stress are:

1. Identify what is important to you: as nurturing women, our family is the most important thing for us. However, we cannot forget that without a healthy mom or spouse, we can’t have a healthy household. Make sure you have an annual physical exam, take time to meditate, exercise, eat healthily, read, travel, volunteer, and do things that make you happy.

2. Do not try to control the future: Trying to control the future is futile, and it creates anxiety. Worrying is the most challenging aspect for me. Dale Carnegie’s book, “Stop Worrying, and Start Living” describes a technique that has helped me. You think about the worst that could happen if something doesn’t go the way you expect. Then, you think about what would happen if the “worst” occurs, and you get mentally prepared for that. Believe it or not, that takes the stress from your mind, and it allows you to shift your focus to the present.

3. Celebrate every accomplishment: Hispanics celebrate everything. However, not everyone is like that. We let our surroundings dictate so much of how we feel. Now, I celebrate everything. I pat myself on the back. I value my efforts. Celebrating small accomplishments will motivate you and will allow you to produce more and better results.

I encourage you to try any of these mindful techniques. You’ll see the difference. Go for it!

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a new columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa will be sharing with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way. You can contact her at aixa_lopez1@hotmail.com, or at www.linkedin.com/in/aixalopez (LinkedIn). Check out her Blog at “http://www.theawakanedengineer.com”.

Why nations fail?

by Juan Carlos “Pocho” Salcedo, Internacionalista

There is a question that we often ask ourselves that in some way by origin or by the language we are connected with Latin America.

Today we will try to answer a question that we have inevitably asked many times because some countries are poor and others are rich, and it will be like in the case of Latin America because our background in which we were born as a nation was after Spanish colonialism? Moreover, on the other hand, the United States developed from an early age under the colonial system of Great Britain, and that favored them? Maybe we just became poor because others became rich at the expense of us and our resources? Are we condemned to a system of perpetual underdeveloped t? How to get out of that almost infinite walk? What is in the fabric of our nations that has not allowed us a higher level of influence and wealth in the concert of nations? What are the origins of Power, prosperity, and poverty?

To answer these and other questions, we have invited Dr. Daron Acemoglu one of the 110 most quoted economists in the world; this was our recent dialogue.

Click here for the video

Diseños Milagros, Book of Cut and Modern Sewing

by Milagros Martínez Machado

Diseños Milagros was made with the idea of sharing classes or workshops on clothing in general that is, for children, men and women and created with a simple to understand language. If the instructions are followed properly, you will get the perfect pattern, which in turn will lead you to achieve a good suit, which suits your figure with great style.

This project has been studied for many years. Throughout our study we realized that in this field of fashion there are few publications in Spanish, both in the school system and at bookstores throughout the country. On an international level publishers are searching for all types of literature in Spanish. This places a high level of interest, especially in the countries of Central and South America. This book of Milagros’ Designs, causes great interest for all those who promote the education of the minority class. For those who do not have a trade. This book promises to train great professionals in the field of fashion; men in particular have been great designers such as Valentino, Oscar De La Renta, and others who have great boutiques of exclusive clothes around the world.

My greatest inspiration has been my sons Henry Salinas and Richard Delgado and I dedicate this project to them, as well as to the women who have had to raise their children alone and who through this book can acquire the means to get ahead and have a lucrative profession and be successful.

Special thanks to my good friend Julia Zurita who believed in my idea and was always by my side as I made this dream a reality.

Milagros Martínez Machado was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 12, 1966. Daughter of Milagros Machado and Ricardo Martínez. Despite having been raised within the communist system of Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba, her childhood was very beautiful and humble with her four siblings, whom she always remembers very dearly.

Since she was little girl, she demonstrated her love for sewing and fortunately for her, in front of her house lived Mrs. Marta Alfonzo, a well-known seamstress in the neighborhood, who had graduated from the Elia Rodriguez Rocha system. Milagros began to receive cutting and sewing classes. Acquiring a lot of knowledge and learning how to transform patterns. Then while learning she did all the finishing work in the seams that Marta was making. Later, she attended a small course that the Cuban government gave in the Cotorro Municipality that was called Ana Betancour.

Years later, Marta died, and Milagros continued to be part of her work. She also received the qualification of Seamstress A in men’s clothing for a government factory in Cuba that was located in Alverro, Cotorro. When she began her studies at the university, on February 12, 1991, she traveled to the United States with a Humanitarian Visa due to health problems with her son, Henry Salinas. Who was a recipient of a kidney transplant that his father donated. The transplant was carried out at The University of Miami. During all that time she was helping with the household with her knowledge in sewing, making clothing for friends and acquaintances. She devoted herself to making wedding dresses for brides and their bridesmaids.

She became a Volunteer as a Public Relations Officer, for more than seven years she dedicated her time to promoting the myths and realities of transplantation in Hispanic communities and helped many families to receive information and support. She was featured on different television channels such as 51, channel 23 and channel 4 of Miami. She was invited to the programs of Don Francisco and Cristina. Then she appeared in different radio stations within Miami such as, Radio Mambí and the WBQA.

In 1997, her second son Richard Delgado was born, who brought both Milagros and Henry his brother, an immense happiness. Milagros continued taking care of her children while working at home. The family moved to Homestead where Milagros continued with her promotion in favor of organ transplantation, achieving that members of the group Los Tigres del Norte donate $5 of each ticket to the concerts in favor of organ donation.

At Florida International University she obtained her certification as a Nutritionist. She obtained a master’s degree in Psychology from the UNPI International Our Pact University. She continued her studies and successfully completed the studies of Theology at the Hispanic Institute of Theology, being a pioneer of the First Hispanic Lutheran Ministry of West Palm Beach. She also studied to work as a Volunteer Teacher of the Day Care Head Start Program. For health reasons she retired from the Ministry and but she still teach English classes she for Hispanics at Our Savior Church in Lake Worth.

Along with lawyers Irvin Gonzalez and Jose Lagos, she was an activist for the TPS Law for immigrants. She also collaborated with the Association of Cuban Art and Culture of West Palm Beach, making the costumes of all the presentations that the organization made. She was the Producer of the television program “La Pelota Infantil” on channel 12, local West Palm Beach. She also hosted her own radio show on 1340AM in Lake Worth. She ventured into producing and directing the “La Voz de West Palm Beach “talk show program in the mentioned radio station in Lake Worth, along with her son Henry Salinas.

Here we go again…

Here we go again… this time is… fourteen…!!!
by Hugo Acosta

Here we go again, usually during the last week of (each) January, when I take a few minutes to reflect, to contemplate, to think about it, and… to prepare content for these annual editorials… something that this time will be shorter and quick… something that almost was not done, but (thanks to my editor in chief, Marisol Hernandez) it happened…

So, to keep that “short and quick approach, I am not going to narrate again, the continuing straggle and still-growing difficulty of the newspaper business, I am not going to develop on the “ups and downs” we might have gone through this year, and yes, I am not going to expose much of the possible professional (or personal) issues I might have gone through this year, and I am not going to present some peculiar weird analogy of the number 14 (like I have done in past anniversary times).

This time, I am going to simply indicate that one more time, this anniversary moment commemoration, still makes me feel the sense and emotion of accomplishment, and the strong gratification of achievement, for something that I like to do, and that I still do with love. Producing this ethnic publication (and the other Hispanic Media Outlets we provide) keeps giving me not only the financial support for me and my family, but also an enjoyment and delight to serve my culture. I do apologize if this drier and shorter editorial might have disappointed some (maybe even my editor in chief, Marisol Hernandez), and I apologize if the expected drama and fuss is not there like in the past, but in addition of going through a really busy and hectic time in this beginning of the year, some other (personal) issues might have somehow tinted or affected the inspiration and motivation I usually get, to prepare and develop a better editorial.

I still want to thank the ones that not only helped us and supported us in the making and existence of this 14-year old project (specially clients, associates, and staff), but I also want to thank to those that believe (and are still believing) in this product, and in my culture, and believe in the efforts that Marisol & I have been putting for the last 14 years… and planning to continue doing for… many more years in the future.

What Can New York’s Wine Industry Teach Us?

by Maximilian Eyle

Today, the State of New York is one of the largest wine producing regions in the United States. New York boasts nearly 300 wineries, about a third of which are in the Finger Lakes region. The industry has a total economic impact of $3.8 billion annually, creating jobs and tax revenue while also bringing increased tourism. It is only in the last few decades that the industry has grown significantly, so why is this happening now? The answer lies partly in agricultural advancements, and partly in drug policy.

Wine has been made in the Finger Lakes region of New York since in the early 1800s. But these were Concord grapes – a much sweeter and less interesting variety than their European vinifera grapes like Riesling, Chardonnay, and others that are better known. Those were not grown here as they had trouble surviving the harsh winters. Despite this, the wine industry was expanding up through the early 20th century. It continued that way until 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed – creating a prohibition on alcohol. Alcohol prohibition decimated the wine industry during its 13 year existence. While legal wine producers were forced out of business, criminals took over the industry and crime rose until the law was repealed in 1933.

In 1951, a Ukrainian immigrant by the name of Dr. Konstantin Frank started work as a janitor at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station. Although an expert in wine production in Ukraine, his experience was not recognized in the United States. However, his work at the Experiment Station put him in contact with scientists experimenting with wine production in the Finger Lakes region. Dr. Frank believed that he knew which grapes would grow in New York State and how best to grow them. After being ignored for years, he was finally able to test his theory and was proven correct.

Dr. Frank’s revolution meant that New York could start growing the grapes that the world wanted to drink – but it would be a long time before the industry could mature. Long lasting regulations from the era of alcohol prohibition put heavy restrictions on local wine producers. Until 1976, small winemakers could not sell wine directly to customers – but had to employ a wholesaler. It was not until the 1980s that regulations loosened enough for the wine industry to take off and become a driving force in the New York State economy. Now, grapes are one of New York’s top three most valuable fruit crops along with apples and cherries.

We cannot blame early wine producers for not understanding how best to grow European grapes in the harsh climate of New York. Such scientific research takes time and is difficult. However, we can blame the prohibitive nature of America’s drug policy for stifling an otherwise wonderful industry for more than half a century. Even today, New York is one of the few states that prohibits wine from being sold in grocery stores.

Although wine production has soared in New York State, we are seeing history repeat itself with cannabis. As the economic benefits of cannabis legalization are observed in states that have ended prohibition, New York continues to block the industry. Just as we look back at the futility of alcohol prohibition, so will future generations look back on our prohibition of marijuana.

Maximilian Eyle is a native of Syracuse, NY and a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He has experience working in the drug policy field and writes about it every month for CNY Latino. Maximilian learned Spanish while living in Spain where he studied and worked as an English teacher. He can be contacted at maxeyle@gmail.com.

I HAD A WORK ACCIDENT…..NOW WHAT? (Part I)

By José Enrique Perez

New York State has a workers’ compensation law dealing with accidents of workers and occupational diseases.  The workers’ compensation law sets forth the procedure for obtaining benefits when you are out of work because of a work-related accident or occupational disease.  The law requires almost all employers to have coverage for all workers.  Even if an employer, however, does not have workers’ compensation coverage for its workers, you will be still entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation law because the Uninsured Employers Fund unit will step into the shoes of that employer.

You should know that workers’ compensation is a type of insurance.  Therefore, the employer or the insurance carrier, and not you, will pay for medical treatment, and the wages you lose because you are injured on the job and/or become ill because of your job.  The benefits paid pursuant to the workers’ compensation law are determined pursuant to various degrees of disability (which I will describe in the May edition).

The employer or its insurance carrier cannot discriminate based on race, national region, color, immigration status, sex, age, religion, disability and/or sexual preference when providing benefits to the workers.

What Should You Do If You Are Injured On The Job?   The first thing you should do is to seek medical treatment for your injuries.  Thereafter, you should notify your employer about your injury (and you should do so preferably in writing) as soon as practicable, but no later than thirty days after the injury.  If you fail to notify your employer within thirty days of your injury, the employer may be able to raise a failure to notify and/or lack of notice defense which may affect your claim.  After you notify your employer, you should file a claim for compensation benefits as soon as practicable.  Remember that the workers’ compensation law sets a statute of limitation of two years.  The statute of limitation means that if you do not notify the Workers’ Compensation Board of your case and/or injury within two years after the accident, you will not be able to claim benefits under the workers’ compensation law.  The Workers’ Compensation Board is a New York State agency that oversees all claims for compensation under the workers’ compensation law.

How Do You File A Claim With The Workers’ Compensation Board?  You can ask your employer for a form C-3, Employee’s Claim for Compensation.  If your employer does not have the form C-3, you can do any of the following:

  • Call the Workers’ Compensation Board at (866) 396-8314 and ask the Board representative to complete it with you over the telephone;
  • Go online to www.wcb.state.ny.us/ and complete the form electronically;
  • Go online to www.wcb.state.ny.us/ and download form C-3, complete it, and mail it to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office;
  • Go to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office and ask a Board representative to help you complete the form. Please note that the employer will complete a similar form called C-2, Employer’s Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness, as soon as you notify it of your injury.
  • Who Is Covered Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?  Almost all workers are covered and may receive medical treatment and wages for time lost because of the injury and/or illness with only a few exceptions.  If you have any doubt about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, you should still file the C-3 and contact either the Workers’ Compensation Board or an attorney to discuss your case.

    What Injuries Are Covered Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?  There are two types of coverage under the workers’ compensation law:

    On the job injuries:   All injuries sustained while working for an employer or in the course of employment are covered with only one exception:  If you sustain an injury as a result of your use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol, or from trying to self-inflict an injury or inflict an injury to someone else, you may lose the right to benefits under the workers’ compensation law.

    Occupational disease:   If you do not sustain an injury on the job or in the course of employment for the employer, and you, nonetheless, become ill, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  This is called occupational disease.  An occupational disease is contracted as a result of your work.  An occupational disease arises from a specific aspect of the work you do.  A typical example is a person who works with computers and develops carpal tunnel syndrome.  It is important you tell your doctor what your work involves because you may not even know you have an occupational disease.  Occupational disease guidelines and timeframes are complex and different from a regular on-the-job injury.  Therefore, you should notify your employer as soon as you learn about it and file a workers’ compensation claim.  You are entitled to the same benefits you would have if you had sustained an on-the-job injury.  However, you may not even know you are suffering an occupational disease because either you have not lost time from work or you think it’s unrelated to your work.  Therefore, you should talk to your doctor not only about your symptoms, but also about your job activities.

    What Benefits Are You Entitled To Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?

    Under the Workers’ Compensation law, you may be entitled to: wages; medical treatment; reduced earnings; rehabilitation and social work;  reinstatement;  disability benefits in case the employer and/or insurance carrier objects to your claim; death benefits; etc.  Please see the May edition for a full description of these benefits, and much more. (i.e., employer’s objections to your claim;  degrees of disability;  discrimination;  etc.)

    You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about potential workers’ compensation accidents.  Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with an accident.  Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

    I represent individuals in workers’ compensation cases.  If you have any questions or concerns about an accident, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the May edition.